Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
The Nomadic are very excited to follow up on the release of our first single “Drifting” in Sept 2019; with the release of “Waiting” on April 17th, 2020; with the video coming out 24th April. It is a song about waiting for a difficult time to pass, and it’s for about waiting for others, to arrive, make a decision, at subways, restaurants, cafés etc. It’s about waiting for your true self to be actualized and realized, to achieve your full potential. It’s about “waiting”, isolated but not alone, at this tough time, waiting to get out back there and live our normal lives. It’s about loyalty, sticking by friends, lovers, partners etc. waiting for yourself to make the right decision, but also being ‘proactive’ about moving your life forward. This song is for all the amazing friends and family in “the nomadic tribe” who are supporting each other in our respective and often challenging life journeys. It’s for all the incredible humanitarians and medical workers risking their lives on the front lines today. All the people I have met and got to know who have shaped who I am today. And it’s a tribute to this magical city New York, a place that helped me to find myself and voice, that welcomes its arms openly to everyone to come here and be their best self, and is going through such a tough time at the moment and needs our collective love more than ever. I hope you all enjoy it in these difficult times.
How long has the band been together?
The Nomadic have been playing live in New York since March 2017.
What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
I was Blessed and cursed to be born into a Nomadic life, with parents who worked around the world. Living in 5 countries before the age of 10, moving around so much meant that I learned to be all things to all people, to keep them happy and to like me. My career working with the United Nations continued to be a nomadic one, working in Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Israel, and Palestine. I came to New York in September 2012 and my marriage fell apart in 2014. I began to refocus on my music and writing songs, forming my band The Nomadic. I began to realize there were core truths inside of me that I had to recognize to heal and grow. I began to recognize that my job, my friendships, relationships, hobbies, were distracting me from the truth. I was first and foremost a storyteller. A songwriter, guitarist, musician, vocalist. In short- I had a voice. And so I want to use this gift to support social action, activism, human rights, support for minorities. My dream and vision are to be the best independent musician I can be, to share my experiences through music, and to share my search for identity. I want to tell mine and others’ stories through song. I want to keep finding my voice and help others to find theirs.
Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
It’s a great question! And one that is very hard to answer! Nothing really beats sitting down with a guitar and/ or piano, feeling a melody form in your head, then putting them to lyrics and finding that perfect ‘hook’! or sometimes a melody or a cool lyric that will come to me in my sleep or as I wake up! Once, on a plane to Nairobi, Kenya in 2016 (for my job with the UN) I came up with an amazing tune in my head! I was so busy that week at work, I forgot the tune! Ever since that moment, I capture EVERY idea on my iPhone. And fundamentally that’s where the whole process starts! Writing a great song, one that, as U2 once sang “I can sing in my own company”! so I have to really like the song first, love it. otherwise, it won’t see the light of day. And lyrically as well, I pride myself on saying interesting things in my songs, and in an artistic and nuanced manner. And once that cocktail is mixed, including song production (I have an amazing producer @axissound Steve Rossiter who I work really well with) then the songs are ready for the light of day. And then yes, playing for a live audience in front of the whole ‘nomadic tribe’ is an amazing experience! To see the joy and fans singing along with the songs. Nothing can beat that!
Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Not really from the road! But I would be happy to share some anecdotes from my time with the UN in Kenya, Somalia, the Sudan, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine, and Indonesia! It is this experience that has influenced mostly my songwriting.
Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
I wouldn’t say my parents were very avid or hardcore music fans.. they liked the music of course- the Beatles and the Stones for example- and my dad played Spanish guitar and mum fancied herself somewhat as a singer! But growing up in Australia and around the world, probably sports were bigger in our household! For the longest time, I wanted to either play cricket or Rugby for Australia, or win Wimbledon! And I think my parents probably envisaged me having a more traditional career. However, over the years, once they saw how important songwriting is for me, then they became fully supportive of my passion! I still don’t think they understand how important it is to me. I.e. that this is a ‘deathbed’ promise to myself- to make sure I share my songwriting gift with the world. Hopefully, as I release more music, they will get it.
What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Well apart from our Nomadic originals?! I grew up with Oasis, Radiohead, The Verve, Coldplay are all favorites! Don’t look back in anger is probably the best song ever written in my view! I still remember hearing it for the first time at school in England in November 1995! Wonderwall, talk tonight, the masterplan is other favorites. Radiohead ‘high and dry’ and ‘fake plastic trees’; Coldplay “yellow” and “lost”; Bruce Springsteen “I’m on fire” phosphorescent “song for Zula” are other favorites.
Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Without a doubt the rise of Oasis in the UK around 1993. The swagger and rock star sex appeal of Liam Gallagher, the genius of Noel’s songwriting. The fact that neither could be where they are without the other (even if sadly they are not on speaking terms today). The songwriting was just so brilliant, and their positioning themselves as the bad boys and underdogs vs good guys/ middle class “Blur” was ingenious! And you really couldn’t argue with their ‘don’t give a fuck’ attitude, even if I don’t think that would work in today’s social media-heavy environment! Coldplay and Chris Martin were also a huge influence around 2000, particularly showing me what cool songwriting could come from piano arrangements.
If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Probably an Oasis reunion tour! With Coldplay second on the act, Imagine Dragons then ramping up the energy even further, culminating in headline act The Nomadic! (each band saying “we are so happy to be warming up for The Nomadic, it’s an honor! Well, you did say ‘dream’.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Depends if you mean my career working with the UN or music? The UN would need a longer conversation! Musically, I never dreamed I would be headlining venues such as The Bitter End, Bowery Electric, Arlene’s Grocery, The Cutting Room.
If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
I think I would make a good teacher! Also any kind of entrepreneur! After all, nowadays as an independent musician that is basically what you have to be good at! Not just the creative side of music, but the business side as well.
What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
My Rickenbacker is a staple for any show! I have a Stratocaster also which is a great guitar, I always bring that in case I break a string! I also always play with my pedalboard-whammy bar, delay pedals, distortion, etc. these really help to bring the songs to life.
What do you think of the current music scene?
I’ve spent most of my time in New York, but I have also spent time in Nashville and Austin. I would say the music scene nowadays is very supportive! Everyone in New York has been extremely friendly, a lot of the bands come to see each other and drive each other on. I can’t say I have had any negative experiences at all! I guess maybe some of the ‘attitude’ is seen as a bit passee? I think nowadays musicians recognize our shared challenges and do whatever we can to help each other.
For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Well, I was “Nomadic” almost from birth! My parents took me as a 5-week old baby to Burma, and I ended up living in 5 countries before the age of 10! So much more than a band name- it’s really a core part of my identity!
If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
The Nomadic has been compared to Oasis, Coldplay, The Verve, Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Dylan. Tunes range from top 40/ pop to Americana, alternative rock tinged by the blues, country folk.
Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
The Nomadic is all about following your dreams, passions, it’s never too late to follow your passions, to find your identity and purpose in life, to be the person you are meant to be, to do the right thing at an individual, community, city or global level! We believe creativity comes through diversity, that we need to support minorities and social action, including issues such as depression, trauma, addiction, mental health, and climate change. Together we can change the world! If you believe the same- welcome to the Nomadic Tribe.
Oh and yeah we hope you are gonna love our songs.
Thanks again for taking the time to talk with XS Rock!